QUOTE - There are five powerful ministries listed in this remarkable passage—a FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY. Many men have aspired to be a part of God's great five-fold ministry set forth in Ephesians 4:11. Who wouldn't covet the ministry of an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor or teacher? The world has been turned up-side down by such ministries! But the five- fold ministry revealed in I Corinthians 1:27-28 has nothing to do with these ministries at all.
Rather, it is what I have termed GOD'S FOOLISH FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY.
These five ministries are just as real and far more powerful, effective and far- reaching than the more popular five-fold ministry. The five ministries mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 are exclusively for the body of Christ, for the perfecting of the saints, but the five superlative ministries set forth in I Corinthians 1:27-28 are universal in scope, Kingdom in character, subduing all things unto God.
This powerful and effective five-fold ministry shakes empires off their hinges, subdues kingdoms, confounds the wisdom of the mighty, and brings to naught all the things that are.
All those blessed ones apprehended to sonship will share in this invincible ministry. In spite of their surpassing glory and irresistible power we do not desire them, but they come to us just as surely as day follows night. They come to us unannounced and unsolicited.
None of us would invite these God-ordained ministries to come our way! But God in His great wisdom and unsearchable ways sends them to us that we may know Him as He is and learn the strange but wonderful WAYS OF HIS KINGDOM. Now that we see how important and powerful these ministries are, let me present them to you:
(1) foolish things
(2) weak things
(3) base things
(4) despised things
(5) things which are not
We need not look to the great men of this age, nor yet to the esteemed religious leaders of this age, nor the wise men after the corrupt wisdom of this age to be the ones who will bear the government of the Kingdom of God in the age and ages to come.
Seeing, then, that God has rejected the wisdom and power and honor of this world and its vain system and has chosen instead a people that the wisdom of the world considers foolish, stupid, weak and of no account, we should readily see that divine wisdom has chosen those who for His name are despised, who glory not in the wisdom of men, but who glory in the hidden wisdom of God revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, according as it is written,
"He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (I Cor. 1:31).
It is interesting to note that the word FOOLISH is from the Greek word MOROS meaning "dull, stupid, heedless, blockhead, absurd." Furthermore, this Greek word is the word from which we get our English word MORON.
Ah—God has chosen a company of dull, stupid, nit-witted, heedless, absurd, moronic blockheads (by this world's standards!) to confound the irrational wise ones of this world's system!
The word CONFOUND means "to put to shame or disgrace."
Well did Ray Prinzing write: "God hath chosen what the world calls foolish, to confound the world's wisdom. Among all the descriptive phrases used by Paul, one especially stands out, when he says, 'and base things...' The Greek word for 'base' used here is: AGENES. The letter 'a' when placed in front of a word, reverses its meaning, either from negative to positive, or from positive to negative. Here it is in the latter case, and it provides for us this thought: God is going to have the ones who have boasted in their 'genes' as of royal lineage, to be confounded by those of ignoble, or common birth. Not many mighty, not many noble, are called. Thank God for those that are—but they soon learn that they have nothing to boast of in the natural, for it is only HIS LIFE IN US that is of real value. And HE can take the weakest, and the basest, and use them to BRING TO NOUGHT, to make useless, to down-idle, the things wherein men once trusted" –end quote.
There is absolutely no need for any of us to try to search out the ways, means and methods that God employs to bring His purposes to pass. For God has declared and written that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will even bring to nothing the wisdom of the prudent. And, as we have seen, the FOOLISHNESS of God, is WISER than men. Or this thing that appears to be so foolish to the carnal mind (the Christ and His work) is actually the WISDOM OF GOD.
Not a great many wise men, after the flesh, are called of God. They are left to follow the plan prescribed for them, and in God's due time and according to His plan, they will be brought to a knowledge of God. Their wisdom, which is nothing but foolishness, will drop from them, light will shine upon their path and they will be brought to understand at last what true wisdom is.
For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 2 Corinthians 13:4
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
In becoming WEAK IN HIM, brought to obedience unto the death of His cross, we are also brought to the end of our self-life, in its carnality, perverted consciousness, distorted understanding, and deceptive illusion. But rather than being destroyed by this process, there is a new and glorious living by the power of God out of our own reality of SPIRIT-LIFE. There is a revelation in weakness that few have comprehended. The purpose is to magnify the supremacy of the SPIRIT, the power of the divine life released through us, while discouraging completely the strength, wisdom, and reality of the OUTER MAN.
God is the great miracle worker. He makes something out of nothing, and somebodies out of nobodies.
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